Marlene and Salo are my favorite kind of people. They invited me into their home, offered me a meal and started playing music. Art was displayed on every wall, candles were lit in each room and Marlene's designer shoe collection could put any celebrity closet to shame. After Salo serenaded Marlene and their soon-to-be son at their piano, we headed to a spot close by their house to take advantage of the gorgeous Laguna Beach landscape.
Laguna Beach, CA
Wardrobe by Free People
There are a few places that every photographer has on their "to shoot" bucket list. Hummingbird Nest Ranch was at the very top of mine. It wasn't until our in-person consultation that Lorena and Ruben casually noted that their wedding would be taking place there. They explained their love of hummingbirds to me and told me about their first visit to the gorgeous Santa Susana estate when a hummingbird greeted them at the gates and zoomed back towards the gardens. With my eyes still wide, I touched at the hummingbird tattoo on my ribs. It was fate!
Lorena and her bridal party got ready at her home in Eagle Rock. The atmosphere was so warm with love as family members sipped coffee in the kitchen while her mother steamed one of her two gorgeous gowns. Her nieces and nephews ran up and down the front steps as we all watched from her living room window. After a morning ceremony at their church around the corner, the caravan of 300+ guests traveled to the grounds of Hummingbird Nest Ranch.
It took several minutes to reach the main house from the front gate. The perfectly manicured Southern California landscape was radiating in the summer sun. After my second, Bri, and I scouted the property, Lorena and Ruben arrived with their wedding party for portraits in the courtyard. The guys donned wrestling masks and did a few moves while the girls cooled off by many of the properties flowing fountains. Cocktail hour featured a traditional spanish duo, Bolero Soul, tapas service, a quick dance by the bride and groom and of course, drinks.
Guests made their way to the sprawling patio in front of the main house for the start of the reception. This place was truly incredible! The natural Spanish style of the house matched the colorful decor and traditional Latin theme. A full mariachi band played the bridal party down the front steps of the house while the crowd cheered on. Two traditional Azctec dancers in full head dresses began a ceremonial dance at sunset and their energy was absolutely entrancing. Guests feasted on a gourmet Mexican fusion spread cooked up by Tortas2Die4 (not exaggerating - this was the best meal I have ever had at a wedding!) and continued dancing through the night.
The day truly could not have been any more spectacular. Hummingbird Nest Ranch & Soltana and her team at Velvet Alley Events put on an amazing show and every guest (and vendor!) had a wonderful night under the stars. Congratulations, Lorena & Ruben!